Before the Cruise/Traveling:
My family and I had heard nothing but great reviews of the Allure of the Seas and we decided we had to jump aboard while it was still the largest ship in the world. We live in Oregon, so the trip alone to Fort Lauderdale was expensive. A tip to save money if you are traveling primarily for the cruise is to book an overnight flight to save money on any extra hotel cost before which is what my family and I did. It can seem a bit risky, but we got in pretty early and decided it was the best idea, and it formed out to be a great decision so I recommend it.
We sailed on November 29th 2015, so it was nice to be able to get away from the rainy Oregon weather.
Embarkation was easy and painless. We arrived at the Port at around 11am and we were able to hand our bags off to the kind men waiting to take them, it was quick and easy for everyone. Afterward, we were ushered into lines depending on what floor your room was on. Our room was room 10323 which was a Boardwalk View Balcony room and so we were on floor 10. In total, we were in the building for 25 minutes and our information and pictures were taken within 10 and we finally got to board the ship!
On the Ship:
The first view of the ship was incredible. It's bigger than any of us could have imagined and we were so excited! We were tired from 9 hours of traveling but the rooms weren't open until 1pm so we decided to find somewhere to relax. We figured that the buffet, the Windjammer, would be a bad idea due to the fact that so many people would be looking for food. We walked around the ship a bit, and decided to sit in the Central Park and find some food. There were plenty of comfortable seating areas and benches, so we rested our legs and found some food and Sangria. Unfortunately I never got to try the infamous Central Park Cafe Roast Beef Sandwiches which I heard are to die for. Ultimately, I do recommend finding a spot in Central Park while waiting for the rooms to open because it was relaxing and fairly open.
Once the rooms were open we met our room attendant, Nina, who was nothing but kind and so helpful whenever we needed anything the entire trip. We love you Nina! All of the attendants in our section of the ship were so incredibly kind and always asked us how our day was and always greeted us and looked to make conversation which we loved!
The room was fairly small, but we could make due with three females in one room. I definitely recommend unpacking everything from your suitcase, and putting them into the storage they have in the room. If three girls can fit all of their things in one room, you can too. There is storage space under the bed as well where we kept all of our bags/suitcases.
The Boardwalk View was probably the best option for us, and we were lucky to be only 4 or so balconies away from the end of the ship so we could always watch the Aqua Theater performances as well as see the ocean! It was the best of both worlds I highly recommend it.
The "Sail Away" Show in the Aqua Theater was a blast. We watched it from our room but had a ton of fun dancing to the hit songs they played and watching the Dreamworks characters dance along to. We even got to dancing with the people in the rooms across the boardwalk from us and the DJ in the DJ booth! My advice: Just have fun!
We went to Mamma Mia on the first night which my mom and sister said was a great show, but I actually ended up falling asleep because it was such a long day (lol). Great performers, great set, great entertainment all in all!
On the third night we went to Ice Games, which is basically Monopoly on Ice. The talent was truly unbelievable and we even got a seat in the front row which I highly recommend because if you get lucky enough the skaters will interact with you! They interacted with myself and my sister as well as the people next to us a lot which was a blast. Not only were they incredibly great skaters, they were incredibly great actors as well.
The fifth night, we attended the How to Train your Dragon Ice Show which we all loved and never wanted to end. The costumes were truly incredible, and we had never seen the movie but the story was told in a way that we were able to follow really well. We were sad after the 30-40 minute performance was over.
We were fortunate enough to be able to watch Ocean Aria about 3 times from our balcony and we never ended up getting bored of it. The talent was truly amazing, and the things they do keep you on the edge of your seat. It's a theater performance mixed with incredible acrobatics! Definitely a must see!
Our family had My Time dining and it was fine. The food was above average and if the line ever seemed long, it went by fast. Our waiter was great, and always so nice and helpful. The food seemed to take a while to bring out, which was kind of surprising because it was usually pre-made. But it was understandable because it was usually pretty full. I recommend going a little later than usual dinner time because majority of people go around 6-7:30.
The shopping/stores were fairly expensive, but if you were looking to buy any of those things they usually have great deals! We definitely took advantage of the 2 for 20 t-shirts in the center stands in the Royal Promenade.
The food was pretty good and there were many options for free and for purchase. We definitely tried to conserve the amount of money we spent so we didn't decide to go to any of the specialty restaurants. We went to the Central Park Cafe, the Main Dining Room, the Cafe Promenade, Starbucks, Wipeout Cafe and Vitality Cafe. I never had any food that I thoroughly disliked. I thought the Vitality Cafe smoothies were great especially after a work out! The food always seemed fresh and was changed nearly every hour depending on the time of day. Side note: I recommend the Wipeout Cafe for soft serve Ice Cream and a quick bite to eat after ping-pong, basketball or the FlowRider!
The Teen Club was utilized minimally by the teens. Toward the end of the trip teens definitely got more involved in the teen club but there wasn't much teen activity going on. It was nice that they had it for teens to hang out in though when there wasn't anything else to do, but it would be nice if there were more crew members trying to get teen activities up and running.
Haiti- Right as we got to shore, a man took us aside and took us to his favorite spot to lay out and he set up three chairs for us, we were so grateful! My family and I decided that we would do the Dragon's Flight Zipline (The largest zipline over water) and it was a blast. We never felt scared because the people truly took great care of us and we even got to do a practice line before the "big kahuna." All of the workers were so nice and helpful and accommodated to the weather. The food in Haiti was all free and it was great food, the workers were so friendly as well.
Falmouth- We didn't plan any excursions for Jamaica, but we decided to go shopping which we highly recommend. Many of the shopping areas in Jamaica have beautiful artifacts and the jewelry market is big. If you have nothing planned, take a look into some of the stores! We also highly recommend to purchase some Rum Cake and Blue Mountain Coffee!
Cozumel- Our family planned a segway ride to a snorkeling destination but unfortunately it was incredibly stormy and the seas were unsafe to snorkel in. But we were able to get our money back and the personnel was happy to oblige with our request, which was very nice. So, we decided to take a look at some of the tents the locals had and stop into Señor Frogs. We ultimately had a great time with what we made of it!
The activities were so fun and I recommend trying to get to all of them! We made it our mission to swim, Rock Climb, Zip Line, Mini Golf, Ice Skate, go on the Flowrider and play in the Sports Court. Each activity was fun in its own way and everyone needs to try it out at least once! If you can't find the courage to do any of these activities you can always watch people which seems to be just as fun. We all found it was lots of fun to watch people wipe out on the Flowrider, which doing is much harder than it looks! You can always play ping-pong to pass the time if you find yourself not knowing what to do. But I would find it hard because you can never run out of things to do on this ship!
The pools were fairly small for the size of ship but they made sure to have plenty of deck chairs. Unfortunately it was pretty windy on our trip so the top deck chairs made it difficult to have a peaceful time with the wind. I recommend to get a chair in the middle sections near the pools or to go to the beach pool and lay out in the water. There also wasn't nearly enough hot tubs, so if you're looking for one it may take a while for people to clear out. So, don't get your hopes up.
We purchased the buy one get one half off "Voom Wi-Fi" on the ship. The first night or two the Wi-Fi was spotty but it improved and was very fast the rest of the cruise. If you want to stay in contact with people or post pictures etc. I recommend getting it and trying to split the cost with someone, because it is pretty expensive.
The Allure is the biggest ship in the world and is able to hold the largest amount of people, so expect a bit of waiting. The waiting was in no way unbearable, the longest wait that we had was 15 minutes for the dining room. It was a little frustrating the first night because we had reservations but there were plenty of people with reservations and we understood. If anyone says that the dining room is full and the wait will be longer than 30 minutes then tries to promote other restaurants with a charge, don't fall for it! We were told that exact thing one night and got into the dining room 2 minutes later.
It was a great trip! No one can control the weather unfortunately so some things had to be canceled but we just had to make the most of what we could! My advice is to let go and have fun, you spent too much money and probably a lot of time to let weather or any one thing get in the way of you having fun or to start complaining. The Allure was incredibly beautiful and always stayed clean. The crew seemed to always interact and always tried to make our stay the best as possible! We are going on it's sister ship, the newest Harmony of the Seas in November 2016 and we cannot be more excited!
Great Cabin with plenty of space if you use the space well! Just don't overpack and you'll have enough room for everything. The Cabin Stewards were great and helpful, always came around to keep our room clean, as well as kept an eye out for when we left our room so they could pop in and tidy up. I definitely recommend the Boardwalk View, I felt like I could always see any events going on but I could still see the Ocean. It was never too loud with any of the performances going on.
Lots of fun! Always felt safe. The staff all over Labadee was so helpful and nice.
Loved being in Cozumel. Unfortunate because of the poor weather.